amber’10 Art and Technology Festival Exhibition November 2010, Sanat Limanı – Antrepo No:5, İstanbul
DataCity text by Nafiz Akşehirlioğlu, Ekmel Ertan
For the first time in history the World’s urban population has outnumbered its rural counterpart. Cities have become the predominant habitat of humanity. The requirements of rapidly growing cities, coupled with the contemporary technological possibilities bring about new urban reality that is data. amber’10 takes up the relationship between city and data as its festival theme. It is no accident that the rise of statistics as a science coincided with the rise of the modern city as a social form during the industrial revolution. When statistical methods of data production and measurement coupled with reproductive techniques such as photography and printing, the modern city entered into imaginary circulation simultaneously with its double, its image. From its beginnings, the modern city emerged both as a reality and a representation that were interrelated in such a manner that it became hard to tell one from the other. In this historical process, contemporaneous with the Enlightenment and Industrial capitalism, the ability to understand the city became conditional on processing and thinking through the data it produced. Data has become a crucial factor in urban social relations and politics. The capacity to produce and process all kinds of data has increased tremendously with the rise of new technologies in the last three decades. Capitalist parliamentary democracy, as it exists today, demands transparency, efficiency and absolute security as the conditions of its mechanism and has at its service the wide possibilities offered by new technologies to meet these demands. This coupling brought about the strategic importance of data in today’s World. We know and define the city through the images made up of its data. The collection, storage and processing of the vast amount of data has become an everyday practice that is both visible and invisible, threatening to some and absolutely beneficial to others in a field ranging from law to ethics, human rights to health.
amber’10 takes up the relationship between city and data as its festival theme. With the theme title Datacity, amber’10 proposes to define the modern city as a data cluster in addition to however else the city form may be defined today. We call on artists to interpret the life forms, production and consumption patterns and politics of the Datacity from the vantage point of arts and technology.
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